Married Gay Dads Highlighted in Video as Father’s Day Approaches

6/14/2013

Press Contact: Aaron Sarver, Communications Director, Campaign for Southern Equality, 773.960.2857 (c), aaron@southernequality.org

Asheville, N.C. (June 13, 2013) – With Father’s Day quickly approaching, the Campaign for Southern Equality and Freedom to Marry today released “A Tale of Two Dads,” a video featuring Mark Maxwell and Timothy Young of Winston-Salem, NC, and their family. Maxwell and Young got married this year after 20 years together, and have four boys – Torin (13), Justin (16), Derrick (17), and Brandon (24). Because North Carolina refuses to respect their lawful marriage, the parents have not been able to jointly adopt their children and fully protect their family under state law.

“A Tale of Two Dads” highlights the loving and committed family environment they have provided for their children. It also chronicles the struggle they face because of the anti-marriage constitutional amendment and discriminatory laws in North Carolina. The video, filmed through a collaboration between the Campaign for Southern Equality and Freedom to Marry, can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/Oh1B9Ni9iEk. The video comes alongside a touching op-ed written by Maxwell and published yesterday exclusively in The Grio, titled “A Home With Two Fathers, and No Shortage of Love.

“It’s all about family for us, and so Tim and I getting married is a message to our boys that we are one family – that’s what it’s about,” Maxwell says in the video. “I would not want to parent with another person because we balance each other. We each have gifts that we bring to our family. I truly have my soulmate. … We want society to say, ‘We will protect this family.’ ”

“Loving and committed parents like Mark and Tim, and their four beautiful children, are denied important protections and security when states like North Carolina refuse to respect their lawful marriages and disrespect these families,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “Every mainstream child-welfare, medical, and public health association has found that same-sex parents are raising children who grow up just as successful, just as well-adjusted, and just as healthy as children raised by different-sex couples. And these expert authorities all agree: ending the exclusion from marriage would help these families, while harming no one. Kids growing up in states like North Carolina, and their families, deserve the best – starting with equal protection and respect under the law.”

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, said: "In every city and town across the South we know there are LGBT youth, adults and families who urgently need - and desire - the rights and protections that our Constitution promises to all. Regrettably families like Mark and Tim's suffer from the current lack of legal protections as they seek to raise happy and healthy kids.”

A mountain of evidence attesting to the fitness of gay parents and the advantages the freedom to marry would bring to families is now before the Supreme Court through friend-of-the-court expert briefs as well as the trial record. And since those court filings, a recent study in Australia by Melbourne University confirmed that the children of same-sex couples fare just as well if not better than the children of different-sex couples:

“An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents. However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well a family gets along.”

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Based in the South, the Campaign for Southern Equality is a national effort to assert the full humanity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in American life and to increase public support for LGBT rights. http://www.southernequality.org/

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.